The Shanty Shack is a curious small place that you will probably only find in Japan. Tucked away in a residential area between two train station in Yokohama’s suburbia, it is an isolated oasis for whisky lovers. True to its name, the bar isn’t really located in a proper building, but rather a small shack. In chatting with owner Shigeyuki Kuramochi it turns out the shack is an appendix to his parent’s residence as it used to be his (photographer) father’s darkroom. From the outside the place is so un-suspicious, that one is pressed hard to believe at first that there is a real gem hiding behind the door.
Once inside, one is immediately immersed in Shigeyuki’s world, not to speak about a great Whisky selection lining the back wall. The wooden paneling and ‘Country’ themed decoration make the place feel like a true ‘shack’ juxtaposed into Japanese suburbia. Whisky bottles on display decorate the walls next to hunting trophies and one is clearly in the right spot to reap the rewards of Shigeyuki’s hunting efforts.
The selection contains a large number of Scottish, Irish and American bottlings (both OB as well as Independents), plus some very fine and rare Japanese Whiskies. Again, as with so many Japanese bars the true treasure here is Shigeyuki himself, the very attentive and engaging owner, who is very helpful in suggesting what to pick and match.
During my stay, I had some exceptional and rare fillings from Chichibu, Suntory and Nikka. I also could't walk past some of his excellent examples of Bourbon and Rye.
So when next in Yokohama, make sure you take the ride to suburbia and make the way to Shigeyuki’s little oasis for a good time.